Welcome to the latest instalment of “I complain intensely/humorously (we hope) about current trends in fiction that annoy the bananas out of me.” Apparently this is turning into a theme recently…
Personally, I like a happy ending. I understand that not all stories will have a completely happy ending, because sometimes that’s part of the point of the tale. And I am not against a few deaths/sad events/bad things happening, especially since most stories would be pretty boring and the characters wouldn’t grow without it. Also, life is not all rainbows and jello; so it’s not very relatable for fictional characters to never suffer.
However. Do we really have to have the entire weight of the world come down repeatedly on a single character? Do we really have to have all the worst possible scenarios occur in the same book?
I say no. I say we can totally have a tale like this: An orphan flees a cruel foster family and gets captured by native “savages,” who turn out to be nice, but they all die from an unexplained illness; so the orphan gets scooped up by a roaming band of misfits who are in search of buried treasure. With an ending like this: The orphan finds the treasure before any of the misfits do, digs it up in the middle of the night, and comes across a native survivor of the illness; they make it to the nearest town, where they tell the authorities about the misfits, and the orphan and the survivor go to a beautiful island to raise hedgehogs.
Okay, so as all you flail over my imaginative genius (and sorry, I probably won’t write this in the near future — don’t you remember my last post?)… My point is that more books like that need to be available on the market. Especially for YA and MG target audiences.
Yes, real life is tough. There are times it flatout sucks. I know that; I have not lived in a flower-filled meadow my entire existence. But what keeps me going when it seems Mordor is about to swallow the whole galaxy in absolute darkness? Hope. The possibility for something positive to happen.
We have to have hope. Or stubborn determination to get through the horrible stuff. Something.
We need something to look forward to. And we need imagination. Having realistic expectations for life is important (in fact, it’s kind of necessary). But when you’re talking fiction — which most of the time equates to entertainment — a little fluffiness is not only fine, I truly think it should be the everlasting standard.
And purposefully including a happy ending in your tale might encourage others to get to the other side of their own struggle, whatever it may be.
So, don’t be the person who blows everybody’s reading world to smithereens. Be the one who inspires us to reach that goal, obtain that promise, seek that fresh horizon.